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Open Access Therapeutic Effects of Umbilical Cord Blood-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation in Experimental Lupus Nephritis

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Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been shown to possess immunomodulatory properties. Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease that results in nephritis and subsequent destruction of renal microstructure. We investigated whether transplantation of human umbilical cord blood-derived MSCs (uMSCs) is useful in alleviating lupus nephritis in a murine model. It was found that uMSCs transplantation significantly delayed the development of proteinuria, decreased anti-dsDNA, alleviated renal injury, and prolonged the life span. There was a trend of decreasing T-helper (Th) 1 cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-2) and proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-12) and increasing Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-10). The in vitro coculture experiments showed that uMSCs only inhibited lymphocytes and splenocytes proliferation but not mesangial cells. Long-term engraftment of uMSCs in the kidney was not observed either. Together, these findings indicated that uMSCs were effective in decreasing renal inflammation and alleviating experimental lupus nephritis by inhibiting lymphocytes, inducing polarization of Th2 cytokines, and inhibition of proinflammatory cytokines production rather than direct engraftment and differentiating into renal tissue. Therapeutic effects demonstrated in this preclinical study support further exploration of the possibility to use uMSCs from mismatched donors in lupus nephritis treatment.
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Keywords: Immunomodulation; Lupus nephritis; Mesenchymal stem cells; Umbilical cord blood

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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